Well folks, can it really be 40, yes FORTY years ago now? Well, yes it can and the event didn’t go by without celebration!
Last weekend marked the 40th anniversary of ABBA’s international breakthrough at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton and both Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus participated in the celebrations with appearances in Stockholm and London.
On Sunday 6 April, ABBA The Museum hosted a day of activities culminating in the premiere performance of ABBA The Museum’s ‘The Choir’.
Hundreds of fans packed the museum’s courtyard to hear the specially formed 50 strong choir perform a selection of ABBA’s hits (with new arrangements by Göran Arnberg), including, Chiquitita, Dancing Queen and of course, Waterloo.
For most of the performance, Benny, together with Görel Hanser and Ingemarie Halling, watched from a balcony. However, to the delight of the crowd, as gold tickertape showered across the courtyard, he took the stage to accompany the choir for the finale – a very fitting and moving rendition of Thank You For The Music.
The entire show was streamed live by Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.
The following day it was Björn and former bandmate Frida that wowed fans as they attended ABBA The Official International Party and launch of ABBA The Official Photobook, hosted by Universal Music and Max Ström Publishing, in London’s Tate Modern Gallery.
After posing for photos and autographs as they arrived, the pair appeared on stage in front of the 1000+ fans that had tickets to the party. They were greeted with rapturous applause and a spontaneous burst of ‘Happy Birthday dear ABBA’.
Björn said that he was really excited to be standing in front of so many fans 32 years after ABBA’s last performance. Frida agreed that it had been a very moving day: “I see you as our family, you are part of our lives,” she said. “We feel privileged. To celebrate tonight with you is pure happiness.”
The pair’s appearance was followed by the weekend’s second performance of the museum’s choir, who had travelled to London from Stockholm specially for the occasion. Afterwards there was an ABBA disco.
During the evening party-goers were able to purchase a hotdog named after the groups manager Stikkan (Stig) Anderson and were given party bags containing a limited edition Waterloo CD and a selection of postcards featuring the groups image.